Kenyan telecommunications operator Safaricom has increased its 5G coverage to 28 towns across 21 counties. The increase will give its customers access to ultra-fast Internet services.

The increase also means the telco has introduced 5G data bundles, enabling its over 400,000 customers using 5G smartphones to get typical speeds of 400 Mbit/s to 700 Mbit/s.

In a statement, the company added that the 5G bundles are personalized based on usage and available on Tunukiwa via MySafaricom App, Safaricom.com and USSD codes.

“As a digital lifestyle enabler, we are excited about a 5G future, which makes it possible to close the digital divide in underserved communities, provide access to critical services such as healthcare or spur economic growth by connecting small businesses to new opportunities,” said Safaricom PLC CEO Peter Ndegwa.

Ndegwa said Safaricom increasing 5G coverage is enhancing Kenya’s Internet network and empowering its customers to start exploring the possibilities of 5G.

Safaricom became the first telco to bring 5G to the Kenyan market in October 2022. Now it is expanding its services.
(Source: Image by rawpixel.com on Freepik)

Safaricom has partnered with Chinese multinational Huawei to set up three 5G experience centers in Nairobi. The centers will enable Kenyans to experience how 5G can transform homes and businesses, the telco said.

Located in Safaricom’s Village Market, The Hub and Buruburu Shops, the centers host virtual reality gaming zones, smart home and enterprise use cases and speed-testing booths.

5G network all over Africa

Safaricom was the first telco to bring 5G to Kenya in October 2022. Since then, its coverage has increased from 11 to 28 towns, spreading across 21 counties – including: Nairobi, Kiambu, Mombasa, Kisumu, Uasin Gishu, Nakuru, Garissa, Kajiado, Kisii Machakos, Kakamega, Kilifi, Siaya, Kericho, Kwale, Laikipia, Marsabit, Meru, Narok, Nyeri and Vihiga.

Furthermore, Safaricom Ethiopia officially switched on its mobile network and services in the nation’s capital, Addis Ababa, in the same month.

With the recent rollout, Safaricom is joining many other African telcos that have launched commercial 5G services on the continent. According to the GSMA, there are commercial 5G networks in more than ten African countries and many more countries are expected to launch commercial 5G by 2025.

There has been an uptick in African countries launching 5G networks, especially in 2022 and early 2023. Companies and countries include Mafab Communications in Nigeria in January 2023; as well as Orange in Botswana and MTN in Zambia in November 2022; Telkom in South Africa in October 2022; Vodacom in Tanzania in September 2022; and Econet in Zimbabwe in February 2022.

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